Company fleets risk being left behind

Almost a third of vehicle fleets are not on track to make the EV transition, as the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans looms.

Research shows that nearly 30% of businesses say that half or less of their company car fleets will be EV by 2027, putting them at risk of a difficult crossover to electric when the ban comes in.

This could leave them struggling with driver adoption and acceptance, adapting their existing policies to include EVs, and most significantly, workplace charging infrastructure and public charging strategies.

The fleet industry accounts for around 1.5 million cars and vans on the road at any one time. Moving to EVs is seen as a significant stepping stone for the government to achieve its target of 23m light-duty battery-powered vehicles by 2032.

The transport sector accounts for over 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions, and businesses can significantly reduce their scope 1 greenhouse gas emission with a comprehensive EV strategy.

Organisations that encourage EV adoption across their wider business (e.g., by offering a Salary Sacrifice scheme to their employees) and within their supply chain, can achieve emission reductions in Scope 3 as well. In 2021, fleet and business registrations accounted for more than half of new car orders, and the BRVLA has estimated that 10.5 million vehicles are part of the grey fleet.

Emma Loveday, of VWFS Fleet, says: “While it’s great to see that many organisations are making real progress with their EV transition, there’s a concerning number of businesses that are at risk of being left behind that need support.”

“Organisations need to approach EV transition with a strategy and plan in place. And ensure all relevant stakeholders, not just Fleet Managers, understand and are committed to the transition. Undertaking a sudden switch can lead to problems with vehicle utilisation if the charging strategy isn’t thoroughly thought-out or issues with driver engagement and acceptance if they haven’t been suitably supported with a switch to EVs.”

“There are various reasons why businesses are hesitant to transition at pace now. Nineteen per cent said EVs are too expensive for them to acquire, and many flagged their uncertainty around the UK’s charging infrastructure.

“While transitioning company cars can be seen as the ‘easier’ part of the vehicle fleet to transition, organisations with mixed or significant commercial vehicle fleets need to start focusing their attention on transitioning their light-duty vehicles to electric as well. With a standard four-year/ 48-month replacement cycle, there are typically only two to three vehicle replacement cycles left before the 2030 ban comes into place. And with the ongoing issues with vehicle supply and lead times, this timeline is going to be further compounded for Fleets.”

“Utilising consultancy can help organisations with their roadmap for EV transition – including key considerations such as driver education and awareness, as well as charging strategies and maximising electric vehicle utilisation.

“With the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel cars in sight, now is the time for businesses to start at pace the transition to electric to avoid being left behind.”

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